Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Do you want to sell your property on Facebook? With new Facebook app, this is doddle!

Social media has become an irreplaceable part of our lives. Most probably, there is no a single day passing away without spending at least a few minutes in Facebook. So have you ever thought about selling your home using Facebook?

Facebook, which is widely used for advertisers as an advertising platform, never slows down its innovations. A new app which allows users to buy, sell and rent out property on Facebook was launched just a few days ago. Innovation experts regard this app as a move in the right direction. The app launched by Sohail Rashid, a Yorkshire based entrepreneur – who has put together an experienced team that consists of Facebook developers, Google owned beatthatquote.com and Guardian Media Group Property Services – has over 500,000 properties for sale and rent across the UK.

Property Place, which claims to be the first of its kind in the world, allows property owners to meet prospective buyers and tenants without the need for an estate agent. At a charge of £75 to sell a property and £35 to let out their home, users can arrange viewings through Facebook’s private messaging service. It is time-saving because users can upload details of their property in minutes and easily manage the whole process in one place.

The entrepreneur Rashid said: “Property Place makes it easier for consumers to share the decision making process with trusted friends and family on one platform. By offering consumers more transparency and control Property Place improves the process for both buying and renting”. He added that “Social networking allows improved consumer engagement and is the future for all high street services. Our business model doesn’t rely on estate agency subscription fees and will always remain focused on providing consumers with more control during their house move.”

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Facebook is getting ready for measuring the 2012 London Olympic Games impact on brands by tracking how the sponsorship brands influence is changing. With this step, the social platform giant proves that it can be a useful tool not only for distributing marketing but also measuring the games’ impact on brands. Since the Olympic sponsors struggle to figure out financial effect of their investment, the social network gives them an insight into the changes in sentiment around their brands, says Financial Times.

“Going into the Olympics next year, it’s hard to quantify what the word-of-mouth [benefit] of sponsorship is,” said Kathy Dykeman, Facebook’s lead on measurement for Europe, Middle East and Africa in the interview to FT.

“Capturing who is telling the stories and what impact it’s having will help us going into 2012.” he continued.

Facebook will be able to track how news spreads around its site, and then run polls to see the impact of marketing messages on sentiment around those brands. Thanks to this “real-time” analysis, brands will be able to make changes if their ads fail.

Facebook research and analytics team has already run the same initiative at the football World Cup. According to a Facebook poll, videos by Umbro, the England kit sponsor, were found to make people who saw them more likely to buy its sportswear than those who did not.

However, Facebook is not the only one that implements such techniques of brand impact evaluation. Other social networks also do similar experiments. Last year, researchers at HP found out that sentimental analysis of postings on Twitter about a new movie can predict its opening weekend takings at the box office.

On the other hand, some traditional pollsters argue that such techniques lack sophistication and balance due to the fact that respondents on social networks are self-selecting and results can be distorted by vocal minorities.

All in all, online marketing, which has been relatively untapped by Olympics sponsors in previous years, seems to be useful to some extent and Facebook seems to know how to use it by creating a lot of new opportunities for sponsors to exploit.

The rivalry between Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. has a new face: privacy.Facebook has finally introduced privacy changes to its user functionality. From now on, users can manage who can see information about them by viewing content on their profile page, and approving any images they are tagged in before it is visible to their friends. So users can avoid being tagged in undesirable photos. With this step, Facebook is one step closer to Google+’s.

With the new privacy changes, the company plans to move a number of privacy controls—which previously required navigating to a separate settings page—to users’ homes pages and profile pages, next to where they view and post content.

Since many users have hundreds or thousands of friends, Facebook and other social networks have at times been criticized for designs that lead users to inadvertently share information with a wider audience than they intended. However, this new step seems to solve the main problems that get a lot of stick.

Facebook’s vice president for product, Chris Cox said that making privacy controls easier is “absolutely critical” to Facebook’s future success. In his post on Facebook, he claimed that users will now be able to command who among their friends list can see their postings. So users will be able to create smaller groups of people from their main friends list.

The function is similar to Google+’s Circles feature, which allows users to manage their contacts adding them to various lists, or build so-called “circles” of audiences for their content. This feature promises to let users “share just the right things with just the right people.”

However, Mr. Cox said the changes weren’t made in response to Google since his company had been working on the changes for the last six months based on longstanding user requests. “We are launching this now because it is ready,” he said.

According to the WSJ, A Google spokeswoman said in a statement: “We welcome Facebook’s efforts to give users more control over their privacy because it helps to improve the overall web experience. With Google+ we’re creating a new and different approach to make sharing on the Web more like sharing in the real world.”

Facebook’s privacy changes include adding icons to individual posts so that users can quickly understand and control who gets to see each post. Users can change their minds about who has permission to see a post after it has gone out. Facebook is also renaming the sharing option it formerly called “everyone” to “public.”

And, addressing a longstanding gripe by some privacy advocates, Facebook users will now be able to decide whether their names can be attached as a so-called tag to a photo before it is circulated. Although users won’t have the power to delete the photos posted by another user they don’t like, they will be able to suggest other user that it should be removed in a quick and appropriate way.

The moves are somewhat of a turnabout for Facebook, which in past years appeared to encourage its users to share information with as many of their friends as possible.

“This is Facebook competing on privacy,” said Justin Brookman, the director of the consumer privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who was consulted by Facebook on the newest changes. “People responded well to Google’s very controlled, granular settings,” he said.



Last month I mentioned Google “+1” button as a rival to Facebook’s “Like” button in one of my posts. The aim was to compete with Facebook’s “like” button. Although Google has unveiled Google+, it is still developing a  Google+ experience for businesses and is asking brands not to create Google+ profiles just yet.

In a post and the video below, Product Manager Christian Oestlien stresses that the Google+ team is still working to create a unique experience for businesses, especially for businesses  which require deep analytics. Google tries to connect Google+ to products like AdWords. As a result of this developing process, Google is asking businesses to put their Google+ efforts on hold.

On the other hand, there are several global brands which have already joined Google+ and these brands include Ford, Breaking News and Mashable. It is unknown yet when Google will shut down non-user profiles and how the process will work.

“The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses,” Oestlien says in his post. “We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

Therefore, brands have to be patient and wait for, probably, several months before stepping into Google+ to be able to experience all promised business features. Over the next few months, Google seems to launch a ‘small experiment with a few marketing partners’ in order to test the brand-oriented accounts. Meanwhile, Google Spreadsheet in which ‘non-user entities’ can apply for the program has been already opened up.

Almost all of us are “Facebookers”, which I use to define people having a Facebook account and actively using it. Today, it seems impossible for “Facebookers” to be far away from the “Like” button while travelling around the pages, watching the videos uploaded by their friends and looking at their friends’ pictures. Even many companies that make their presence felt in Facebook mostly as official pages organize competitions by asking open-ended questions and choosing the winners according to the number of “Likes” to their post.

Although “Like” button of Facebook is not new, there is something new in this social world: New steps of not-new competitors fighting against Facebook’s like button, which was launched more than a year ago. Google and Twitter have just introduced their own rival buttons for the social web.

There is no doubt that Facebook’s like button increased traffic for all sites which implemented the product since it has been launched. According to Guardian.co.uk reports, the like button has been added to 250,000 sites outside Facebook, feeding information back to the site on the activity and preferences of its 650+ million users.

Twitter, which has 20.6 million US audience in 2011 compared to Facebook’s 132.5 million adults for the same year, announced its “Follow” button and 50 sites including Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal have already plugged in. Thanks to the follow button, users can easily follow the account on Twitter with one click. By this launch, Twitter, which is also to launch a photo sharing service, expects the innovation to bring more activity on the site and users back to their sleepy accounts. For publishers and brands, adding the Follow Button to your website and using Twitter to stay connected with your audience is a powerful combination,” said Twitter in the announcement.

Google also has launched its new “+1” button to compete with Facebook’s “like” button. With this unclear name, right now it’s not evident how it will impact search results.

Since Google’s +1 invites an explanation and Twitter’s follow is somewhere in between, like button as a concept still seems to be more immediate and understandable it. Moreover, Facebook’s like, which doesn’t require interpretation, seems to remain number one among sharing buttons with its largest user base.

According to experts, it’s good for all web users if this new generation of third-party buttons offers consumers more choice. Otherwise, it might just add misunderstanding of the provided options.

Not sure if you heard, but last week Facebook made some changes to its photo tagging feature and introduced a new function that will be available to all users. Thanks to this new feature, pages (brands, celebrities, etc.) can be tagged on photos just the same as users can be tagged.

For example, you can easily tag your car’s brand on a picture of you standing near your car by tagging your vehicle and linking it to the Facebook page of car manufacturer (don’t worry, almost all car have a page on Facebook). If the person who posted the photo set it to be seen by “everyone”, then brands themselves (or fans of the brands can do the tagging) in the photo and it will show up on that brand’s page. If the user’s privacy settings are set to “friend’s only”, the photo will only show up on in their network.

Although it seems a small change, this might be a boon from the point of marketers. Since tagging a photo is innately more intimate compared to simply liking a page on Facebook, Fast Company regarded it as potentially far more potent than “Likes”. But of course, marketers should approach this feature with caution because there is a serious concern on whether this function could generate a massive amount of spam for the brands and will add a heap of work for Facebook page moderators.

However, in spite of all concerns and fears, Facebook has introduced this function with the aim to enhance promotional opportunities for advertisers and generate more pages for the brands. This function creates multiple opportunities for brands to launch promotional campaigns, engage in a visual way with fans’ networks of friends and family as well as enhancing Facebook users to participate in different activities like user photo contests. It’s powerful word of mouth marketing – without actually using words.

No doubt there will be malfeasance on the part of pranksters. Therefore, it is better for marketers to wait and see just before taking a step.

Since social media came into our lives, many experts have been trying to find statistical facts that show the relationship between social media and change of branding strategies. Surely, social media, and more particularly Facebook, is becoming a part of a corporate branding strategy. However, it seems impossible to determine a decisive, generalisable measure in order to verify exact impacts of social media on every brand.

According to a new study conducted by a U.S. West Coast as agency named WongDoody, the leading global brands could improve their Facebook usage. While evaluating the Facebook activity of the top 100 brands, as determined by Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2010 rankings, the WongDoody Facebook Global Practices Study demonstrates that sixteen of Interbrand’s 2010 best global brands don’t even have an official corporate-run Facebook page.

Focusing on the remaining 84 brand pages for 2010 Best Global Brands, the study analyzed over 60,000 wall posts, nearly 13,000 comments, and over 119,000 “Likes” to see how companies are utilizing Facebook. As a result of this study, it was found that there are a great deal of missed opportunities.

Fans seem to be engaged with the brands. Not only the average number of fans across the 84 pages amounted to 1,807,360 but also the average number of fan posts per month is 857, the average number of comments per post is 157, and the average number of “Likes” per post is 1,456. On the other hand, the average number of corporate posts per month was 24, suggesting that most of the companies post on their wall almost every day. Although 79% of the 2010 BGB official Facebook pages allow fans to post on their wall, only two out of three of the brands reply to fan posts and comments consistently.

It is truism to say that brands could do a better job in terms of content and involvement techniques. Nowadays, video content is the most common post and 88% of the brands are posting videos, which are mostly television commercials, on their Facebook pages. WongDoody emphasizes a Facebook page is no place for a hard sell” and “unique content is most motivating for fans to join your community.”

Even though 82% of the brands solicit fan stories and comments, only 66% of them actively reply to fan posts or comments. The obvious meaning of this situation is that a third of the corporate Facebook users are missing an opportunity to create a dialog with their constituents. Also, another result from the study indicates that the top brands are not so creative with their Facebook usage: less than 40% post surveys or polls and only one third of the brands use Facebook to promote contests.

According to WongDoody, Facebook is a social ecosystem designed for interaction. … The marketing challenge lies not in convincing users to Like your page, which takes only a cursory click, but to make sure your page is not forgotten as just one more link on a fan’s Info page.”

After all, social media is a new world, promising more than what we see. Instead of following suit, every brand should formulate its own, specific strategy and try to sustain a two-way conversation in this new world.